Wolverhampton stabbing: Daughter Anne Marie 'was the apple of my eye'

The father of a woman who was stabbed to death by her brother has spoken of the ‘hell’ at losing the ‘apple of his eye’.

Anne Marie James, left, was killed by her brother Melvin
Anne Marie James, left, was killed by her brother Melvin

As well as killing his sister Anne Marie, Melvin James, aged 36, also left his 59-year-old mother Joyce in a critical condition with serious stab wounds to her stomach. He then killed himself with the blade.

But his grieving family are refusing to blame him for what they describe as a ‘freak accident’.

Police were called to a flat in the Merry Hill area of Wolverhampton at 9.45am on Wednesday following reports that a knifeman had attacked two women.

A post mortem examination revealed his sister Anne Marie, 33, died as a result of a stab wound to the chest and her brother died from multiple stab wounds.

The attack took place in a first-floor flat in Highfield Court, Merry Hill
The attack took place in a first-floor flat in Highfield Court, Merry Hill

Their mother Joyce remains in hospital with serious stab wounds to her abdomen. She has undergone surgery.

Their father Leroy James said: “It is extremely heart-breaking. This should not be happening.

“I would love to know why he did that. You just don’t kill your sister.

“We have been through hell. Anne Marie was the apple of my eye.

“When I was living with them I was a very strict man, but there’s no easy way in life.”

Melvin James had been working away for a number of years and had only moved back home a month before the attack, according to friends.

Police remained on the first floor of the flats yesterday morning, while more floral tributes had been left in the reception of the flats from friends and neighbours.

One message read: “God bless you in heaven Anne Marie. The world is a darker place without you.”

Another added: “My beautiful auntie. Rest in paradise. Took too soon but you will never be forgotten.”

Friends of Ann-Marie also paid tribute to a ‘lovely’ woman.

Laura Powney, from Wolverhampton, had been close friends with Anne Marie for 16 years.

She said: “All I can say is that the whole family are lovely.

An air ambulance leaves the scene
An air ambulance leaves the scene

“I met Anne Marie when I was 16, and she was lovely. She always had a smile on her face and a friendly word.

“Her mom is amazing as well.

“I truly hope she pulls through. My thoughts are with the whole family.”

During the incident on Wednesday, neighbours described the scene as a ‘war zone’ as riot police and three air ambulances descended on the scene.

Detective Inspector Warren Hines, from West Midlands CID, who is leading the investigation, said: “The family are absolutely devastated at the loss of Anne Marie and Melvin.”

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